Creating Calm in Chaos: A Room for Struggling Readers
Help me give my students soft spaces for a calming area and an inviting room for learning. Flexible seating, such as stools and pillows, will give students an opportunity for choice and an outlet for excess energy.
I teach students in a Title I School that require intensive instruction to fill gaps in decoding and comprehension skills—skills that many of us take for granted. My students struggle with reading in various ways. For some, it is simply the mis-reading of word endings that impede their ability to understand what they read; for others, it is the difference between a short and long vowel—a skill that many of us learned by 1st grade—that affects their ability to decode 6th grade level text. My students are passionate, energetic, often frustrated students who may spend their entire day confronted with grade level text that is beyond their reach. I want my classroom to be a place where all students feel comfortable. It should be a haven for them while tackling the obstacles that impact them not only now, but in their future. Most of all, it is a place where they should learn to unlock the door to a love of reading that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
My sixth and seventh grade students are people who often feel marginalized in school. They are the students who are often "in trouble," who need frequent breaks, struggle with frustration, and often even don't try. Many of these students are the products of trauma, have limited coping skills, difficulty sustaining attention, or struggle with learning or intellectual disabilities. Reading multiple levels below their own grade level, the intensive intervention they will receive in my reading classroom is one of the most important hours of instruction they will get each day.
By donating to my project, you will give my students a calming space, thereby increasing their instructional time in the area that will impact their futures the most: reading.
Research shows that when taught strategies for self-regulation, having a calm space in a classroom for breaks is essential for students to help de-escalate when upset. This not only produces more active time in the classroom, it can also be a life-skill utilized far beyond the classroom.
Please help me fulfill my vision of the perfect classroom for my delicate students. The time they spend here will give them both the emotional and academic tools they need to have a better future.
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